Human Longevity and Discovery has announced that the two companies have entered into a multi-year agreement to offer whole exome, whole genome and cancer genome sequencing to Discovery’s clients in South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Through this agreement, HLI will offer a full exome sequencing and analysis product tailored to Discovery’s clients for just $250 USD.
Discovery clients will access these new services through the company’s Vitality Program, a behavioral wellness solution that helps people get healthier by giving them the tools, knowledge, access and incentives to improve their health. Discovery partners with major global insurers across four continents with its Vitality program, which encourages behavior change, enables behavior-linked insurance pricing and offers shared value to insurers, clients and society.
“Discovery is excited to be partnering with HLI in bringing affordable genome sequencing to large numbers of its clients in South Africa and the United Kingdom. We believe that this is a pioneering approach in global health insurance, and will enable us to provide our clients with the world’s most advanced, current knowledge on their genetically determined disease risks, as well as on personalized health, wellness and medical treatment strategies. In addition, the de-identified genomic data will be used for extensive ongoing research with numerous collaborators around the world, and we are excited that together with our clients, we will be able to make a material contribution to global research efforts aimed at improving the health of populations and reducing the growing burden of diseases of lifestyle,” said Dr. Jonathan Broomberg, MD, Ph.D, CEO of Discovery Health.
All Discovery clients who choose to participate in this unprecedented health screening will be provided a comprehensive report of their genome findings which includes disease risk and potential wellness strategies. HLI will provide this information to Discovery who will deliver these reports to clients through their network of physicians and genetic counselors to aid in the understanding and interpretation of each individual’s genome report. Clients will also benefit from regular updates to their reports, as new scientific discoveries emerge, and will be able to access these via specially designed web and app interfaces. The highest standards of data security will be implemented by both HLI and Discovery, ensuring that client data is fully protected.
“We are eager to begin working with Discovery and its Vitality program to bring this unique insurance offering to their clients. Discovery is one of the most forward-looking companies in the industry in motivating their clients to live healthier, better and hopefully longer lives. We can’t imagine a better partner for our products and technology. We believe that genomic understanding of individuals is one of the best ways to positively impact human health and health outcomes. Together Discovery and HLI are paving the way for a new healthcare future,” said J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., Co-founder and CEO, HLI.
HLI is developing and applying large scale computing and machine learning to make novel discoveries to revolutionize the practice of medicine. Through the agreement HLI will also receive de-identified data from participating Discovery clients. The combined genomic and phenotypic data becomes part of the HLI database and will support HLI in further expanding the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of whole genome, phenotype and clinical data.
As part of this agreement Discovery and HLI will also work to develop and open HLI Health Nucleus centers in South Africa and the UK. The HLI Health Nucleus is a unique free-standing health center where clients receive a complete biological and health assessment of themselves through genome, microbiome, metabolome sequencing, along with comprehensive MRI body scans and other more traditional clinical testing. The first Health Nucleus is opening October 2015 at HLI’s San Diego, California headquarters.
The partnership between Discovery and HLI will be available in the UK to clients of Vitality Health. Previously a joint venture with Prudential plc, PruHealth became a wholly-owned business in the Discovery Group and was branded as Vitality Health. Vitality Health’s unique model offers a holistic healthcare solution that integrates wellness and prevention programs with traditional health coverage to over 550,000 customers in the UK.